ACTIVITY PROFILE OF THE REPUBLICAN INSTITUTE FOR VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
Educational Institution “Republican Institute for Vocational Education” (RIPO, http://ripo.unibel.by/) is the national leading institution in the Republic of Belarus in the field of vocational education development. It was established in January 1993 by the initiative of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus for scientific and methodological provision of vocational education and training (VET), as well as further training of pedagogical staff in VET in the Republic of Belarus.
The main objective of the RIPO is the development and implementation of the vocational education policy meeting the socio-economic needs of the country. The RIPO tasks are focused on the improvement of the legislative framework governing VET; studies on the labour market (LM) and economic issues in VET; researches on the National Qualification Framework in terms of transformation of LM needs into the VET parameters; studies and pilot projects on quality assurance and key indicators in VET; development of VET curricula and retraining programmes for the youth, adults, unemployed and disabled people; re-design and modernization of VET content according to the sustainable development goals and LLL priorities; introduction of competence-based approach and new didactics in VET; methodological provision and training aids for VET specialties; professionalization and further training of VET managers, teachers and trainers; nation-wide coordination of VET initiatives and dissemination of the best international experience in the field of human resources development.
RIPO is engaged in training of scientific staff with higher qualification, specialists with secondary specialized education, vocational training, skills upgrading, internship, retraining of the pedagogical staff of VET sphere, workers (employees) for different types of economic activities.
The organizational structure of the RIRO embraces the VET research institute, 5 affiliated VET colleges being its pilot projects platforms and VET Centers of Excellence in the field of renewable energy, resource saving technologies, mechanical engineering, automobile technologies, industrial and civil construction, road-building machinery, wood working, agro-food processing. Within the RIPO structure, there are also the faculty of retraining and skills upgrading, postgraduate school, center for VET informatization, coordination center for the CIS initiatives in VET, editing and publishing center for educational books and training aids, department for comparative research and international cooperation in VET, with the total number of employees over 800.
Over the years the RIPO has intensively developed international cooperation.
Since 1998 the RIPO has been a focal point and permanent partner of the European Training Foundation in Belarus, with the implementation of several EU projects and initiatives in the field of VET and LM.
Since 1999 RIPO has been included in the worldwide network of UNEVOC members, being the official representative office of UNEVOC in Belarus.
By the Resolution of the Heads of Governments of the CIS member states, in 2011 the RIPO was granted a status of the Reference Organisation for the CIS member states in staff vocational training, retraining and skills upgrading in VET system.
Since 2014 the RIPO has become the National Operator for Worldskills in the Republic of Belarus, developing the national school of professional élite of skilled workers according to international standards. Within the last decade, a number of international projects in the field of VET, LLL and adult education have been implemented within the cooperation framework with the German Adult Education Association/Dvv international (Germany), Folkuniversitetet Uppsala (Sweden), EU programs Leonardo da Vinci, Tempus, Erasmus+.
An important direction of the RIPO’s activities in the international arena is the implementation of upskilling and retraining programs for VET managers, teachers and trainers, and establishment of the state-of-the-art VET Centers of Excellence for different types of economic activities, with the network model of education.
Among the RIPO international partners, there are VET research institutes, educational establishments and industrial organizations from all the CIS countries, Finland, France, Germany, India, Lithuania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, Vietnam, the USA and other.
As a whole, the RIPO infrastructure, its staff profile and international partners network contribute to the qualitative and proficient organization of its activities and efficient accomplishment of strategic tasks in the field of human resources development.